# How to calculate work done by gravity

**Introduction**

Gravity, the invisible force that keeps us grounded on Earth, affects everything around us. It plays a crucial role in various physical processes, and one of these processes is work done. In this article, we will explore how to calculate the work done by gravity on objects and learn the importance of understanding this concept in physics.

**Understanding the Work Done by Gravity**

In physics, work done is defined as the force applied on an object multiplied by the displacement experienced by the object as a result of that force. When it comes to gravity specifically, the force involved is the force due to gravity, which acts on all objects with mass.

**The work done by gravity depends on three primary factors:**

1. The gravitational force acting on the object (usually denoted as F)

2. The vertical displacement of the object (usually denoted as h)

3. The angle between the gravitational force and displacement (usually denoted as θ)

**Step-by-step Guide to Calculating Work Done by Gravity**

Follow these steps to calculate the work done by gravity on an object:

**Step 1: Determine the gravitational force (F)**

The gravitational force acting on an object can be calculated using the following formula:

**F = m * g**

Where:

– F represents gravitational force

– m represents mass of the object

– g represents acceleration due to gravity (approximately 9.81 m/s²)

**Step 2: Determine the vertical displacement (h)**

To calculate work done by gravity, we only consider vertical displacement since gravity acts vertically downward. Disregard any horizontal displacement if present.

**Step 3: Determine the angle (θ)**

Identify whether there’s an angle between gravitational force and displacement. If an object moves straight upward or downward, then θ equals 0° or 180°, respectively.

If there’s a diagonal movement, you need to find θ using trigonometry or other means.

**Step 4: Calculate work done by gravity (W)**

Now, using the values obtained in the previous steps, calculate the work done by gravity by using this formula:

**W = F * h * cos(θ)**

Where:

– W represents work done by gravity

– F is the gravitational force (from Step 1)

– h is the vertical displacement (from Step 2)

– θ is the angle between gravitational force and displacement (from Step 3)

**Conclusion**

Understanding how to calculate work done by gravity is significant in physics, particularly when dealing with potential energy and mechanical energy. By following these steps, you can accurately determine the work done by gravity on various objects and deepen your understanding of this fundamental physical process.